Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Georgia Preview-Raising the Stakes

Aaron Murray still cries at night.

Let's take a trip in the way-back machine to 2010. Auburn fell behind two touchdowns to Georgia and Aaron Murray, only to come roaring back to win in a laugher 49-31. One of the subplots from the game was Nick Fairley basically trying to end the existence of Aaron. Yes, Nick hit him late once, drawing a 15 yard penalty. The rest of his hits were legal, though hard hitting. Nick was doing his job that night and boy did he do it well.

To this day the Georgia faithful still complain about Nick. He's in the league now, wreaking havoc on NFL signal callers, and is considered Mr. Clean next to his comrade Donkey Kong Su (which is what I call him since I am too lazy right now to look up how to spell the guys name.

Odds are good that if Auburn beats Georgia Saturday, the Georgia faithful will whine like my 3 year old after I take the Ipad away. It's just their nature. For some reason they think they have an elite program. I think they have the right to feel like they should have an elite program (even though they don't). They are the only game in town (sorry ramblin wreck) in a state that is loaded with talent. Problem is they lose out on a lot of this talent to Auburn. Think about Cam Newton, Takeo Spikes, and Ronnie Brown, just to name a few. Georgia is a notch below Auburn historically, and I think that drives them nuts.

The game this weekend shows how high the stakes have been raised for Auburn. A win here and all of a sudden the Iron Bowl becomes epic. An Iron Bowl where the winner takes all.

But let's look at the task in front of us. Georgia will come to town with something to prove. They are healthier than they have been in weeks so they feel like they have a good shot at a win on the plains. Todd Gurley is back in the backfield, and he will make a difference, even at 80%. Murray is Murray. He plays well against Auburn, even though he still wets the bed thinking about Nick Fairley.

Georgia's defense will be the X factor in this. Can they stop Auburn's running game? Not likely, but they can slow it down and make Auburn throw. I have heard pundits all week like "expert" Tom Luginbill say that Auburn doesn't throw because they are deficient in that area. I wouldn't call it deficient. I would call it smart football. Run it till they stop it. That is football. ALways has been. It doesn't matter what the formation is. Nobody has come close to stopping Auburn's running game recently.

Auburn has been strategic all year in their offensive scheme. They have pretty much run it at will on everybody since the second half of the LSU game. Marshall has gotten better with accuracy, though he is far from polished. I also think he is better rolling out and throwing. Standing in the pocket, he looks like he babies throws, almost like he is thinking too much. On rollouts or scrambles, he seems to be much more accurate. It reminds me a lot of Auburn coach Dameyune Craig, who could roll out and chuck it 65 yards on a dime.

My guess is Auburn gets Nick outside the pocket to throw or run this weekend. I also think he will have to throw more for Auburn to win. Georgia is good up front, and they will challenge Auburn's tough offensive line. Look for the Dogs to score points, but they fade in the 4th.

In the end, it will come down to running the ball and stopping the run. Whomever does that the best, wins this game.

Auburn 41
Leg Humpers 31

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